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Sopwith Snipe

Serial No: 'E6655'
Period: Inter-War
Reference: X006-0349
Museum: London
Location: Hangars 3 and 4
On Display: No

The Snipe was designed as successor to the immortal Camel with some reaching the Western Front from September 1918 proving to be highly successful. Around 100 were in service by the Armistice and when production ended in September 1919 over 2000 had been built by a wide variety of sub-contractors in addition to the Sopwith Aviation Co. at Kingston-upon-Thames many going straight into storage never to enter service although Snipes did serve with twenty RAF Squadrons from 1919. As well as serving in Home Defence Squadrons Snipes remained in front-line service with No 1 Squadron in Iraq until November 1926 with a few serving at Flying training Schools  to around 1928 including some two-seat dual control versions.

Rebuilt by New Zealand restorers The Vintage Aviator Ltd 2011-12 this careful composite reconstruction incorporates some 40% original components including B.R.2 engine propeller tailplane plus struts and wing and fuselage frame structure from a variety of unidentified Snipe airframes many of the parts previously being in long-term storage by the RAF Museum. With post-war modifications such as landing lights and flare brackets incorporated it represents the Snipe of No.1 Squadron flown on policing duties from Hinaidi Iraq during the 1920s by founding RAF Museum Board of Trustees chairman MRAF Sir Dermot Boyle. It moved to Hendon in October 2012.

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